Group Dynamic: Affected by Who Is There

Have your teachers or small group leaders ever wondered why sometimes class discussion goes exceptionally well and others times it is like pulling teeth?  Sometimes it can break out into heated debates and other times remain calm and very diplomatic.

Perhaps it depends on which students are there in a given week.  Within a group, whether it be a Sunday School class, Bible study group, or within your small group ministry, you will have all sorts of people.  Even one person’s absence can change the way the group interacts.  Different combinations of people can make for some very interesting or very dull learning sessions.

Teachers need to identify the potential within each class session and guide the session accordingly.  As the next couple of posts will point out, both personalities and learning styles can affect the group’s dynamic.  (You can subscribe to be notified of new posts.)

Students with certain tendencies could negatively impact the teaching-learning process and affect how the group relates with one another.

  • What do they do when the monopolizer shows up speaking so much others can’t?
  • How do they get the more passive students to engage?
  • What do they do when someone consistently gets off on tangents?
  • How do they deal with students who tend to belittle or pass judgments on what others are saying?
  • And, what do they do about those who make snide remarks or jokes that are often ill-timed?
In Facilitating a Discussion, Everyone’s Contribution is ValuableThe In Facilitating a Discussion, Everyone’s Contribution is Valuable Worksheet will help teachers think through what they can do to improve the group dynamic by helping these individuals who tend to have negative effects on the class.

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